District judge describes man as a danger to the public


A man described as a danger to the public was remanded in custody when he appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court, on a charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

In the dock at Londonderry Magistrates Court was John Patrick Nixon (30), of Harty Court in the Cityside, who was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent on July 18.

The court heard the alleged injured party sustained a broken nose, a cut to the back of his head which had to be sealed with surgical glue, and also needed 25 stitches inserted in his upper lip to treat a cut, as well as sustaining damage to his eye sockets.

It was alleged Nixon and the man were drinking together in the defendant’s home at Harty Court, but in the mid-afternoon, Nixon allegedly assaulted the man by punching him to the ground.

The court heard allegations the 30-year-old kicked and stamped on the man numerous times during the course of the incident.

Two females intervened, however, the court heard that they did not give a statement to police.

The alleged injured party went to hospital in a taxi.

The court heard that he also initially refused to provide police with a statement.

He left the hospital and returned to the Ballymagroarty area.

The court heard allegations the man went to a local mobile shop and was assaulted from behind and knocked to the ground.

He was taken to hospital a second time for treatment to his injuries.

An investigating officer told the court the man had now made a statement in which he named Nixon as the assailant.

Opposing bail, the officer said Nixon has previous convictions for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He added the defendant also had a conviction relating to an incident in Scotland in respect of causing severe injury to endanger life.

Police opposed bail for fear of further offences and interference with witnesses.

Walter Hegarty, defending, told the court it was accepted his client had significant and relevant convictions.

However, he said Nixon had a suitable bail address away from the Ballymagroarty area and could be released on bail with strict conditions.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused the application.

He said there was a “general duty of the court to protect the public from harm and I consider this man to be a very dangerous individual”.

Mr McElholm said he believed Nixon was a danger to the public in general and not just the alleged injured party.

Nixon was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on August 20.